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Blur - Under The Westway

If this was the end, it’d be glorious. The hint that it isn’t is even better.

There’s a fuzzy feeling deep down that few bands can evoke. A kind of ‘happy sad’; a nostalgic pull that forces eyes to well up, hearts to swell and goosebumps to rise. Damon Albarn has that emotion on tap. When Blur are in a contemplative mood, they’re capable of turning even the hardest soul into a slushy mess. There’s something about Albarn’s voice that, when channeled in the right way, makes grown men get wistful and shed a tear or two.

That’s how we find them on ‘Under The Westway’; a ballad, the kind of which they’ve grown in to with age - a love letter to London - there’s more than a touch of The Good, The Bad & The Queen present, but crucially with a magic ingredient - chemistry. This isn’t a solo affair, or a collection of disparate musicians united by one man. The quiet growl and lilt of Coxon’s guitars, the thump of Rowntree’s drums and - from the evidence of tonight’s live stream - Alex James’ shorts - when Blur click in unison they’re still capable of things others simply aren’t.

Like a grown up sibling of ‘For Tomorrow’, lyrically there’s a hint of the woozy resignation of age, a spark of hope, and a definitive marker that, as a collective, Blur can still cut it. If this was the end, it’d be glorious. The hint that it isn’t is even better.

Tags: Blur, Reviews

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